By Vanessa B
Lockdown is generally a dull and boring period, which is a wonderful thing for the brain. Indeed, when our brains get bored, they attempt to find stimulation internally. Daydreaming and mind-wandering are some of the most common responses to boredom. Both are also excellent processes that can encourage creativity. As boring as the lockdown might seem, it could become a catalyst for one of the most creative periods in history.
Indeed, boredom is the result of having nothing to do. But once you can overcome the initial pain, the mind can find new and productive ways of unlocking ideas you didn’t even know you had. We’ve already noticed a surge in creativity. Literary agents have received a high volume of manuscript submissions from aspiring writers under lockdown. Musicians, famous or not, have been productive, with well-known names such as Taylor Swift and Yxng Bane creating masterpieces in quarantine.
Harnessing your creative potential under lockdown is no easy task, though. If you have not yet defined your creative approach, you can find yourself struggling to structure your day-dreams productively. How do you best encourage your mind to wander usefully when you’ve never taken the time to build a creative platform before? The truth is that lockdown seclusion stimulates our brains in a variety of ways. Therefore your first step to unlocking your creative potential is to figure out what creative type you are.
The wanderer who constantly needs to discover new things
Almost a quarter-million of people have fled London for the countryside ahead of the first coronavirus lockdown. They needed a change of horizon. Being surrounded by nature and wildlife offered a peaceful and soothing environment that could also contribute to the creative process.
Over 400,000 people have left the UK in 2020, fleeing the British lockdown to live abroad. Moving abroad is a unique experience that completely transforms your routine. If you need to change your surroundings to boost your creativity, experiencing a different way of life could be the way forward. For people who love to explore and question their limitations at the contact of other cultures, emigrating is a powerful creative tool. Stepping out of your comfort zone can help you change the way you think and process ideas.
However, it is fair to say that not everyone is a wandering creative. If you need a strict routine to feel comfortable, the move could be counterproductive.
The self-disciplined worker who hates interruptions
Unlike the wanderer, who enjoys sudden disruptions of day-to-day life, the self-disciplined creative prefers to be in control at all times. Individuals who rely on compartmentalising to structure their creative potential tend to prefer a strict schedule. Typically, these would be people who can develop a creative side hustle without interfering with their full-time careers. Under lockdown, the addition of smart processes and tools that can save time contributes to freeing up time for creative activities. Something as simple as relying on a new prescription service for repeat prescriptions, for instance, can make the health routine more manageable. You are likely to benefit from using services that can reduce disruptions in the lockdown schedule, such as online grocery shopping, sound-cancelling headphones, and Internet productivity browser controls.
The creative butterfly who combines unexpected skills
If you’ve been recently watching the Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, you may find yourself attracted to chess. What does chess have to do with creativity? Chess games don’t increase your imagination, but they encourage you to recognise patterns. Chess masters learn to identify patterns and moves so that they can react more appropriately. Patterns exist everywhere, and they can play a major role in stimulating your creative potential. For instance, musicians rely on patterns recognition not only to learn new songs but also to build new sounds.
Similarly, visual artists also use an understanding of patterns in terms of depth, colours, shadows, and position. For writers, the patterns are hidden in the pace of the story and the plot twists and progress. In other words, patterns are a creative person’s safety net. Introducing new hobbies and activities can help your brain register new patterns, and use them to enhance your creative process.
The master of the inspiration on-the-fly
Picture the scene. You are walking down the street, and suddenly a woman with a bright green coat crosses the road. She catches your eyes. And immediately, you feel the beginning of an idea pop inside your head.
Not everyone feels immediately inspired by everyday gestures and events, but if this works for you, you need to be able to keep notes as you go. Tools such as Evernote allow you to record thoughts and inspiration in a variety of formats, from audio memos to sketches, making them the ideal companion. While this doesn’t mean that you can compose a song or write a novel after a short encounter in the street, the records you keep can help create a rich and inspiring world. Needless to say, someone who likes to maintain a direct connection to their surroundings prefers a relaxed creative schedule.
The candid who pours their heart on the page
Your emotions and experiences are a never-ending source of inspiration. Not everyone feels confident about using personal experiences as part of their creative journey. Placing your story at the heart of your creative process adds multiple layers of depth to your project. However, it is an approach that exposes your vulnerability and intimate thoughts. Not every creative individual wants to bear it all on the paper, canvas, or music sheet. Using yourself as a reference to build a realistic and relatable world can be a good idea if you are comfortable with your emotions. However, it can be a delicate process that contributes to enhanced anxiety and stress.
Additionally, you will need a complex internal whirlpool of emotions to add value to your creative potential. An individual who has a laid-back and back-to-earth temperament would struggle to use themselves as a creative platform.
We all have a different creative personality. More often than not, successful individuals tend to combine traits from multiple creative types. Taking the Beatles as a reference, John Lennon was a creative type who often relied on emotional turmoil, with songs such as Strawberry Fields Forever, Lucy in the Sky, and Help. On the other hand, McCartney hits a nice mixture of personal experience and inspiration on-the-fly, with Penny Lane, Let it be, and Martha. So which creative type are you?